On Russian hacking, skeptical Trump calls Intel proof a political witch hunt

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Donald trump on Russian hacking
Donald trump on Russian hacking

Los Angeles : The US intelligence agencies on Friday in a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump gave proofs of Russia's involvement in hacking US elections 2016.

However, Trump continued to insist that they had "absolutely no effect on the outcome" of the 2016 presidential election.

Choosing his words carefully, Trump stopped short of saying he accepted findings shared across those agencies that Russia waged cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions to influence the election. He called the brouhaha over the findings part of a political witch hunt.

His stand was clear: "They are very embarrassed about it. To some extent, it's a witch hunt. They just focus on this. While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee," he said in his statement, "there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines."

In a detailed report, the intelligence community maintained, "Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

After meeting, the President-elect also pledged to appoint a team charged with coming up with a plan within 90 days to "to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks" but said that the ways in which the intelligence community works to keep the nation safe "should not be a public discussion."

On Twitter, he reasoned, "I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it."